Doug Allen wonders what the best future approach for the Libertarian Party is. In the comments on Allen’s post, Skip Oliva writes:
The LP’s flaw is that they focus exclusively on electoral politics, which is a high-cost, low-yield means of communicating your message when you’re a third-party. I’d like to see more LP activism in things like administrative law (which is where I focus my attention) and areas that aren’t the focus of popular and media attention, areas that could use some principles to shine a light on government abuse.
I think the larger question is whether a political party (e.g. the LP) is the best vehicle to advance those goals in the contemporary U.S. political system. I have previously written why I think not; rather, I think the best front is to support organizations like the Institute for Justice and the Cato Institute that work on the legal and interest articulation side of the spectrum. Groups like Cato and IJ have institutional advantages over political parties for pursuing goals outside the electoral process—most notably, the ability to attract tax-deductable donations.
Sean Hackbarth has some thoughts on Allen’s post as well.
Incidentally, if campaign finance reformers were serious about “taxpayer funding” for elections, they’d allow a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to political parties and campaigns—even a capped tax-credit system would be far more effective than the check-off and far less problematic (at least in terms of the government favoring incumbent candidates and parties) than taxpayer financing.